Thursday 3rd September 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I should have known that the latest updates would arrive whilst I am on my family holiday but I have now updated all our parent and pupil information booklet that you will find attached in the Newsletters section. I am in the UK so won’t need to quarantine!
We are pretty much ready to throw open the doors now and after the training day, on Monday, the final touches will have been put in place. We realise that some people may feel anxious about the full re-opening of school, so the booklet is to show the lengths that we are going to and the measures we are putting in place to reassure you. As we have been throughout the pandemic, we will be upfront and honest with you, sharing information as and when we can. Rumours circulating via social media are not helpful, so we would ask you to refrain from discussing potential cases and scenarios until we have established the facts and had guidance from the authorities. It is highly likely that we will have suspected and positive cases at some point and that bubbles will have to close but we will deal with issues calmly, appropriately and with the best interest of our whole community at heart.
I need you to please bear in mind that all our plans, routines and control measures are based on the Government Guidance, support from the Leeds Health and Safety team and our own experience of having some children in school before the summer. They are not fool proof and they will be reviewed at every point to make sure that they remainworkable and effective.
By going back slightly later than other Local Authorities we do have the benefit of seeing what has worked well and what hasn’t in other schools. It would seem that once children are in the classroom, the systems run well and the children settle quickly and happily. Indeed that was our experience in June. I can’t wait to see the smiling faces and see children learning in every classroom again!
The biggest problems seem to be arising at drop off/collection times when more than the permitted 1 parent per family is present and where parents are not strictly adhering to the new routines and times. We understand that traditionally the first day back at school has been a whole family affair and that families like to gather in the playground with friends to catch up on the time that has been missed. However, this year is different to all years. In order to keep all our children in school without closing bubbles, we have to do things differently. So please comply with our rules and do not be offended if we hurry you through the system to get all children in. We decided to open to all current pupils on the
first day to support working parents, many whom have had to provide childcare for a long time. We have also tried to reduce the span of start and finish times to support working hours and so they are very tight. The gates will not be open before 8.20am. It will only work if families arrive at the allotted time and not before/after.
Please support these key rules:
All adult visitors to the site (including playgrounds) must wear a face covering
All families to arrive at allotted time for drop off/collection
All KS2 children to be dropped off at the gates. Any children coming to school independently must arrive at the correct time. There will be no staff supervision of the playgrounds before school.
All adults to remain on the playground away from the class doorway and socially distanced from other families until their KS1/Reception child has gone in. Children must remain with you.
Remind children they will need to wash their hands as they come in. You may wish your child to use your own sanitiser as they enter the building.
No school bags only book bags, packed lunch boxes and water bottles will be allowed.
Additional staff will be outside to welcome the children as they arrive. Miss Duffy, our Deputy Head who has been on secondment, will be back with us for a short time until she starts her maternity leave. Mr Hewitt is our new Superintendent who will be taking over from Mr Bilton who is retiring after a couple of weeks of handover. Miss Elliott and I will also be around to help out. For the first couple of days, the Reception Team will be outside too, until their children start later in the week.
I am sure I will be in touch again soon. Please check back on previous correspondence for drop off/collection times. Staff are incredibly busy over the next few days and don’t have access to the times you were allocated.
Mrs Claire Harrison